MONROVIA: As the race for the House Speaker position mounts with the emergence of new names while others drop out, the Unity Party Alliance has finally settled on Montserrado County District 11 Representative Richard Nagbe Koon as their consensus candidate.
Breaking the news to the media over the weekend following a meeting of the Unity Party Alliance and other like-minded lawmakers on Capitol Hill, Representative Koon disclosed that he is the consensus choice for the Unity Party Alliance bloc, and that under his watch, the 55th Legislature will never be a rubber stamp body as was the case with the 54th Legislature.
“We had Hon. Pricilla Cooper, Sekou Kanneh, Hon Kogar and myself. So, the four of us had to sit and dialogue, because our leader told us clearly that he was not going to handpick anybody. That was what delayed us to come up with a consensus candidate. And after we reached the consensus candidate, we are happy to announce that Richard Koon is the consensus candidate that the Unity Party Alliance has agreed to,” Representative Koon stated.
Speaking further, Representative Koon said under the aegis of the new breed of leaders that will head the 55th Legislature, the House of Representatives will never become the same type of rubber stamp body that operated at the whims and caprices of the Executive Branch of government.
Koon said his belief is hinged on the fact that incoming President Joseph Nyuma Boakai wants an independent legislature that will make decisions to push his administration’s policies and programs for a better Liberia.
“I want to disabuse the minds of those who believe that what happened under the speakership of the last legislature will happen in the 55th legislature. The first thing is that Hon. Bhofal Chambers was handpicked by President Weah. The difference is that the Unity Party Alliance and its Alliance were told to discuss, to have a dialogue among themselves, because we have more than four persons that had interest in the Speaker position.
“We had Hon. Pricilla Cooper, Sekou Kanneh, Hon Kogar and myself. So, the four of us had to sit and dialogue, because our leader told us clearly that he was not going to handpick anybody. That was what delayed us to come up with a consensus candidate. And after we reached the consensus candidate, we are happy to announce that Richard Koon is the consensus candidate that the Unity Party Alliance has agreed to.
“So, on the issue of the 55th legislature being another rubber stamp body, it’s going to be different, unlike the 54th. Our President-elect will not want to have a rubber stamp legislature; rather, he will want an independent legislature that will make decisions to help his policies and programs for a better Liberia,” Koon stated emphatically.
Already, Nimba County District 7 lawmaker, Musa Hassan Bility who had openly announced his bid for the influential House Speaker position, now seems to be angling for Rep. Koon to lead the House.
According to Rep. Bility himself, although he has not officially announced withdrawing from the race, he has however agreed, along with his group of 21 lawmakers, that they will join forces with the Unity Party Alliance to win the leadership of the House.
“This Alliance will win the leadership of the House, I guarantee it. The Alliance appreciates the fact that they need other political parties and other people in an alliance, and that’s the difference between them and the CDC.
“We have talked with everybody. We have talked with the CDC. All I know is that the Unity Party Alliance is more receptive, more reasonable, and more pragmatic,” Mr. Bility said.